Metallic Taste In Your Mouth -- Causes
and Top 10 Natural Remedies
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Last updated July 31, 2017, originally published January 1, 2011)

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of Registered
Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members of our Editorial

We take our sense of taste for granted but an unwelcome
and nasty taste in your mouth can really affect your
wellbeing and quality of life. A metallic taste in your mouth
– which you might also describe as a sour, foul or bitter
taste – is otherwise known as "dysgeusia", or altered taste.
Our ability to taste food comes from sensory cells in the
mouth and throat which, when stimulated, send messages
to the brain to differentiate between tastes. Many things
can affect our sense of taste and cause dysgeusia.

If you suffer from a nasty metallic taste in your mouth you
are not alone – MedicineNet estimates that more than
200,000 Americans visit a doctor each year for problems
with their sense of taste and smell. It may be common, but
a nasty taste in the mouth can be worrying. Is a metallic
taste in the mouth the sign of something serious? Can
anything be done to get rid of the metallic taste? What are
the best natural remedies for removing the taste of metal
and restoring normal flavor to your food?

What is Metallic Taste in Your Mouth?

Dysgeusia, or a metallic taste in your mouth, is a condition
when you feel as if your mouth is lined with metal, or that
you’ve eaten something metal. A persistent metallic taste
may cause foods to taste wrong or "off", and generate a
bitter aftertaste from even the tastiest of meals. The
presence of a metallic taste in the mouth is not usually the
sign of something serious but it can seriously affect your
well-being. If you taste metal after every meal you may not
want to eat, or you may feel depressed or down.

We’ve looked at recent medical studies to discover the
following 10 best ways to treat a metallic taste in the
mouth and return your sense of taste and enjoyment of

Zinc Is a Remedy for a Metallic Taste in Your Mouth

The common mineral zinc is a powerful weapon to fight
metallic tastes in your mouth.  In fact, zinc is one of the
more widely studied remedies for a metallic taste in the

A 2005 study from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg,
Germany demonstrated that zinc at a high dose of 140 mg
a day improved sufferers’ sense of taste as well as general
mood scores among patients.

Another study carried out in 2007 by the University of
Ulster, Northern Ireland looked at seniors with dysgeusia
and administered placebo or 30mg of zinc a day. Results
were mixed but demonstrated a need for further research
on the power of zinc for treating metallic taste in older

Based on these studies, and even though it may sound
counterintuitive, consider
increasing your levels of zinc to
decrease the metallic taste in your mouth.

Not keen on taking zinc supplements? Try adding oysters
cooked mussels
and other foods high in zinc to your diet.


Sesame oil contains approximately 10 mg of zinc per 100
mg serving.
Certain spices, such as parsley, dill and sage
also contain trace amounts of zinc.

Cut Down on Your Use of Artificial Sweeteners to Cut
Metallic Taste

In addition to other health problems caused by artificial
sweeteners, they can also cause a metallic taste in your

Heavy use of artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and
aspartame used to cut down on calories are the culprits.
According to results from 2007 research from Nestlé
Research Center, Switzerland, artificial sweeteners cause a
metallic taste sensation in the mouth by activating the
TRPV1 receptors. Salts can also cause a metallic taste in
your mouth by activating the same receptors.

TRPV1 receptors are found in the taste receptor cells in
your mouth and throat and are also sensitized to acid and
heat when exposed to artificial sweeteners.

Try using natural sweeteners such as fruit juice or get
accustomed to a less sweet taste to your coffee in order to
cut down on a nasty metallic side effect.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene to Prevent Gum Disease
and Metallic Taste

Gum disease, or gingivitis, often causes a metallic taste in
your mouth.

Gum disease produces swelling and redness in the gums,
and bleeding gums after flossing or brushing.

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is a rarer condition,
which produces more severe symptoms than regular gum
disease including an intense metallic taste in your mouth.

Get rid of
gum disease and the metallic taste by brushing
twice a day – make sure you include the tongue. You alsp
have to floss daily, to remove food trapped between your
teeth and underneath your gum line. You can also try
rinsing your mouth with a salt and water solution, or a
baking soda and water mix, to clean germs that make gum
disease a reality.

Sometimes, if your gum disease is too advanced, cleaning
at home simply will not clear up the problem. See your
dentist who may recommend that you undergo a "deep
scaling" procedure which involves going beneath the gum
line to professionally clean bacteria and plaque.

Eucalyptus Helps Remove a Metallic Taste in the Mouth

As a metallic taste in the mouth is often caused by gum
disease, you can help shift gum disease by using eucalyptus.

Chewing eucalytus gum helps. A 2008 study from the
Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry, Osaka,
Japan showed chomping on chewing gum containing
eucalyptus extract was more beneficial than a placebo for
shifting mild to moderate gum disease, and the metallic
taste it caused.

Lycopene Can Clear the Metallic Taste in Your Mouth

Another remedy for gum disease is the supplement
lycopene, which you could use to clear the bad metallic
taste associated with the condition. A 2007 study from the
Krishnadevaraya College of Dental Sciences, Bangalore,
India found lycopene taken at a dose of 8mg each day was
an effective treatment for inflammation and infection in the


If you're looking for foods rich in lycopene, try sun-dried
tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes have 45,902 micrograms of
licopene per 100 gram servings, the highest by far of any
food and about 10 times more than the next closest
competitor. The next closest food in terms of lycopene
content is watermelon with 5432 micrograms and cooked
tomatoes with 3041 micrograms. ]

Can Borage Oil Cure a Metallic Taste in the Mouth?

One 2003 study from St. Barnabas Medical Center,
Livingston found weak evidence that borage oil – a rich
source of fatty acids – at a dose of 3,000 mg a day could
reduce the inflammation associated with gum disease,
which may also contribute to that metallic taste in your

Could fish oil, another rich source of dietary fatty acids, or
a combined treatment with fish oil and borage, also be
effective? Surprisingly, no. The study found no significant
benefits when looking at the addition of fish oil to the
treatment mix. (
Is krill oil better than fish oil for your
health? Read more.)

Cancer Treatment and Kidney Dialysis Can Cause a
Metallic Taste in Your Mouth

If cancer treatment or kidney dialysis has affected your
sense of taste, you may experience foods as too sweet, too
salty, or too metallic.

In particular, after chemotherapy, radiation or dialysis,
eating meat can make you feel like you’ve eaten something
made of metal. Try meat in combination with other
vegetables and sauces such as pasta sauces, chili, soups or
stews or marinate meat in soy sauce, fruit juices or wine to
remove the lingering metallic taste.

Avoid canned fish as the metallic aftertaste can be
overwhelming; choose fresh fish or vacuum-sealed fish
instead. Use plastic utensils to cut down on the metallic
taste in your mouth.

Medications Can Make Your Mouth Taste of Metal

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